DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Virginia

For Immediate Release

Thursday, May 25, 2023
Christopher R. Kavanaugh
, United States Attorney

U.S. Attorney Kavanaugh Pledges To Prosecute All Prohibited Possessors of Firearms Linked to NIBIN Database

ATF, VSP Pledge To Partner With Local Law Enforcement Agencies

ROANOKE, Va. – United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh announced today an initiative to prosecute all prohibited persons who possess a firearm that has been previously used in a crime and logged in the federal National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) database.

NIBIN, maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence from crime scenes across the country. Law enforcement officials then use the potential matches or “leads” that NIBIN generates to identify links between shootings and other firearms-related cases in different jurisdictions.

In today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Kavanaugh pledged to prosecute all prohibited persons, including individuals convicted of domestic violence or a felony, who possess a firearm that – after being run through the NIBIN database – comes back as having been associated with another crime, either in the Western District of Virginia or elsewhere.

“Today’s commitment to prosecute individuals possessing firearms used in previous crimes is the third component in my Office’s violent crime reduction strategy,” United States Attorney Kavanaugh said today. “This multi-prong approach – when joined with community engagement and prevention – provides genuine opportunities for solving violent crimes in our communities, as well as preventing them in the first place.”

In 2022, U.S. Attorney Kavanaugh announced the first component of his violent crime reduction strategy when he pledged that the United States Attorney’s Office would prosecute any case referred to his office where a firearm was discharged in connection to a federal offense.

Earlier this year, his Office enacted the second component of their strategy: prioritizing the prosecution of individuals involved in the trafficking and straw-purchasing of firearms.

Since the implementation of this violent crime reduction strategy, federal prosecutions of violent crimes in the Western District of Virginia are projecting a 63% increase over last year, while prosecutions for firearms offenses are projecting an increase of 193%.

Washington Field Division